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United States continues to battle opioid abuse that is killing more than 60,000 people annually. Pixabay

Using advanced Machine Learning (ML) techniques on nearly 1.5 million Reddit posts, researchers, including one of Indian origin, have identifed risks associated with self-treatment for opioid addiction.

These clinically untested, self-directed treatments are often created and promoted through online discussion communities like Reddit, where their use is encouraged without professional medical consultation, said the team from Georgia Institute of Technology.


“Along with identifying what potentially are the most commonly used alternative treatments, we documented a number of important trends and gained valuable insights into how people use alternative treatments,” said Stevie Chancellor, PhD student at Georgia Tech College of Computing and chief author of the study.

According to the study, the top three most commonly used alternative treatments are Kratom — an unregulated herbal stimulant, Imodium — a common anti-diarrheal medication and Xanax — a psychiatric medication used to treat anxiety and panic disorders.

The treatments offer potentially substantial side effects and high chance of abuse for those struggling with recovery.


FILE – Syringes filled with the opioid painkiller fentanyl are shown in an inpatient pharmacy, June 1, 2018. VOA

One of the key trends documented among the alternative treatment users is the growing use of “stacks” or “kits.”

These combine several substances – prescription drugs, illicit drugs, over the counter (OTC) medications, vitamins/minerals or other substances – to combat withdrawal symptoms and facilitate recovery.

“We found that Imodium, commonly used to relieve nausea and diarrhea, is often referred to as ‘lope’, which is short for the active ingredient Loperamide. We also confirm that it is prone to misuse and dependence,” said Chancellor.

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“Because there is little empirical research into alternative treatments for opioid use disorder, professionals overseeing detoxification and behavioral interventions are at a disadvantage,” said Munmun DeChoudhury, assistant professor at School of Interactive Computing and co-author of the study.

“Broadly speaking, we’re interested in reducing the harm that can be caused by alternative treatments,” DeChoudhury added. (IANS)


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Ninety-eight per cent of Indian travellers say they want to stay in a sustainable accommodation in the coming year.

A Travel Sustainable badge, provides highly coveted information to travellers all over the world looking to make more sustainable travel choices. Booking.com has launched the Travel Sustainable Badge, a first of its kind in the industryNinety-eight per cent of Indian travellers say they want to stay in a sustainable accommodation in the coming year, and with more than 28 million listings on Booking.com, the company sees a huge opportunity to highlight more of the impactful efforts its partners are making to create more sustainable experiences, making it easier for travellers to find a sustainable way to stay.

silhouette of man holding luggage inside airport Booking.com has launched the Travel Sustainable Badge, a first of its kind in the industry | Photo by yousef alfuhigi on Unsplash

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Some games can get intense and make players lose track of time. However, with timely break-time reminders, the developer has made sure players get the required downtime. These reminders will help them look up from their game and get back to real life, maintaining a healthy game-life balance. In addition, with a strict gameplay limit in place players below 18 years must not indulge in gaming for more than 3 hours per day. This automatically helps them treat gaming as an activity performed in moderation.

The brand has also set an in-game daily spend limit of Rs 7,000 that automatically stops them from overspending and overgaming. Krafton recently announced that it has removed 25 lakh accounts in just over a month to eradicate cheating on Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI). Since the last announcement, between October 1 and November 10, Krafton banned 25,19,692 accounts permanently and 7,06,319 temporarily. "The company has cleaned out most of the cheaters in the game, making BGMI a much more fun experience, and will continue to take whatever step is necessary to keep BGMI fair and fun," it claimed. (IANS/ MBI)


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Photo by Flickr

Proper assessment is done before deciding on the approach to the treatment plan.

By Vinoda Kumary

The rise in air pollution, coupled with lousy lifestyle habits, is causing a spike in respiratory diseases. According to a Lancet report, the contribution of chronic respiratory diseases in India increased from 4.5 per cent in 1990 to 6.4 per cent in 2016. With respiratory issues on the rise, there is an increased demand for natural solutions to treat such issues. Instead of conventional medicine, people are turning to alternative medical therapies to find cures for ailments.

Common Lung Disorders

Bronchial Asthma
Bronchitis is a health condition that causes inflammation in the airways of the lungs. This leads to narrowing of the air pathways and excess mucus causes wheezing, coughing and difficulty breathing. It is a chronic condition that interferes seriously with daily life.

An Asthma patient taking medication using an inhaler Bronchitis is a health condition that causes inflammation in the airways of the lungs. | Wikimedia Commons

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